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Omar Dahi

Contributing Editor

Quick Thoughts: Omar Dahi on The Rebel Withdrawal from Homs and Brahimi Resignation

[The Syrian army patrols a part of Homs on Thursday 8 May 2014, a day after opposition fighters evacuated the city as part of their agreement with the Syrian regime. Image via Associated Press]

  [The agreement reached between opposition fighters and the Syrian regime with respect to Homs has solicited an array of speculation as to what it precisely represents. When combined with the recent resignation of UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, both events are interpreted as signals of a key shift in the balance of power, both politically and on the ground, between the regime and the opposition forces in Syria. Jadaliyya turned to researcher/scholar of political ...

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The Conflict in Syria is a War on Development

[Children walk through rubble in Bab al-Turkman neighborhood in Homs. 19 November 2013. From Lens of a Young Homsi.]

As Syria has descended into a brutal civil war much of the media coverage seems focused on military advances, the nature of the political and military opposition, and more recently the prospects for a political settlement. Less attention is being paid to other aspects of the conflict, in particular the extent of the humanitarian crisis inside Syria, the deterioration of human development, and the decline of the Syrian economy. More generally, though there has been ...

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الهجمات بالسلاح الكيمياوي والتدخلّات العسكرية

[مصدر الصورة اسوسياتيد بريس/ مكتب مدينة دوما]

إن صور الجثث المصفوفة على الأرض والمكفنة بالشراشف البيضاء، دون أثر لدم أو إصابة انتشرت الأسبوع الماضي عبر الإعلام الاجتماعي وفي نشرات الأخبار كي تشير إلى مرحلة أخرى مروّعة في الحرب السورية. ففي الرابع والعشرين من آب، أفادتْ منظمة أطباء بلا حدود أنّ كثيراً من المصابين، الذين تلقوا العلاج في أعقاب الهجوم في الغوطة الشرقية، ظهرت عليهم "أعراض التسمم العصبيّ"، رغم أنّ المنظمة شددت أنها لا تستطيع أن تبرهن ذلك علمياً أو أن تحدّد السبب. مذاك، لم تترك مجموعات أخرى عديدة ـ ...

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Chemical Attacks and Military Interventions

[Syrian man mourning over a dead body after an alleged poisonous gas attack fired by regime forces in Douma town, Damascus, on Wednesday 21 August 2013. Image by Associated Press / Media Office Of Douma City]

Images of dead bodies laid out on floors wrapped in white cloth, with no sign of blood or injury circulated across social and news media last week to signal another horrific stage of the Syrian war. As of 24 August, Doctors without Borders has indicated that many patients treated in the aftermath of the attack in eastern Ghouta had "neurotoxic symptoms" though they stressed they can neither confirm scientifically nor establish causality. Since then, several ...

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الكارثة السورية

[مصدر الصورة ا.ب]

لأسباب معلومة، طغت الخسارة البشرية الفادحة على تغطية الانتفاضة والحرب الداخلية في سوريا. قُتل حوالي 60000 سوري (أو أكثر)، بينما يعاني عشرات الآلاف من آثار بدنية ونفسية بسبب العنف. ففي نهاية شباط/فبراير، فاق عدد السوريين اللذين نزحوا داخلياً أو لجأوا إلى بلدان مجاورة 3 ملايين. وعندما نستذكر، يبدو بأن المفوضية العليا للاجئين في الأمم المتحدة، ومعها العديد من المراقبين، لم تستوعب مدى الأزمة عندما صرحت في آذار/مارس من عام 2012 بأنه سيحتاج 96500 لاجئ فقط في الأردن ...

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The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South

[Cover of Vijay Prashad,

Vijay Prashad. The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South. Forward by Boutros Boutros-Ghali. London and New York: Verso, 2012. Correct ideas are never sufficient; they are not believed or enacted simply because they are right. They become the ideas of the time only when they are wielded by those who have a united belief in their own power, using it in ideological and institutional struggles that, in turn, consolidate their social authority. - Vijay ...

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Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States

[Cover of Arab Studies Journal Vol. XX No. 1 (Spring 2012)]

Adam Hanieh, Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. [This review was originally published in the most recent issue of Arab Studies Journal. For more information on the issue, or to subscribe to ASJ, click here.] What if capitalists in a particular country could draw on a reserve army of semi-skilled labor that includes hundreds of millions of noncitizens whom they could import, hire, fire and expel at will, without worrying about ...

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Notes on the Syrian Uprisings (Part 1)

[Syrian refugees wave a flag at a playground at a refugee camp in Turkey. Image by Audrey Ann Lavallee-Belanger.]

One of the many hidden gems in Jamal Barout’s groundbreaking four-part series on Syria’s political economy is the brief story of the three meetings that took place between former Syrian president Hafez al-Asad and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Based on archives he accessed from the Presidential Palace, Barout narrates that Gorbachev met with Hafez Al-Asad three times, in June 1985, April 1987, and April 1990. In the first two meetings Gorbachev was full of ...

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Omar Dahi


Omar S. Dahi teaches economics at Hampshire College. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of economic development and international trade, with a special focus on the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa and on South-South economic cooperation. His publications include articles in the Journal of Development EconomicsThe Middle East Report, and the Review of Radical Political Economics. He is Co-Editor of the Syria Page on Jadaliyya.